Ross Graves' Blog


Ross Graves is the Managing Director for NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group. He has led and supported major NHS strategy development and programmes across health and social care. Ross is passionate about improving health services through engagement with local people and involving them in the CCG’s commissioning decisions.

Almost a week has passed since euphoria swept the nation, as England defeated a valiant (and incredibly unlucky) New Zealand in an utterly enthralling and nail-biting cricket World Cup Final.

As ever, it was the sublime individual performances that hit the newspaper headlines, but what really stood out for me was the overall togetherness; a group of players from diverse backgrounds and cultures all working together as one.

It got me thinking about the health and care system in Southwark, and the importance of team work – both within and between different organisations – to achieving our shared objectives.

As Managing Director of NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), my focus is on making sure we plan, buy and monitor NHS services in the best possible way to meet the Southwark Five Year Forward View vision: making the borough an amazing place to be born, live and spend one’s final years.

We recognise that in order to achieve this ambition, health, care and community organisations in Southwark – including GPs, hospitals, care homes, the local authority and the voluntary sector – need to work ever more closely together in partnership.

We’ve already made good progress in this respect, with the development of more joined-up approaches to preventing ill-health and delivering high quality care and support.

But it’s not just about working in partnership with other organisations, it’s about continually placing patient engagement at the very heart of our work. We recognise the importance of involving local people in decision-making, so that services are shaped around your needs and experiences – and delivered in a way that works best for you.

That’s what we will be discussing further at our patient engagement event on Wednesday 24 July at Southwark Cathedral.

From 12pm to 2.30pm we will have a more general conversation about how to join up care and support in the borough so that we meet the needs of our local populations.

Then from 3.30pm to 5.30pm we will be focusing more specifically on children and young people’s mental health services.

This is one of our top priorities in Southwark, which is why, for example, we’ve worked with Southwark Council, NHS organisations, the voluntary sector and local people to design a joint mental health and wellbeing strategy.

The strategy includes plans for prevention and early intervention. We know that most mental health issues have their origins in childhood, with around 50% of all disorders emerging before the age of 14. It’s crucial that we identify and tackle these issues as early as possible in life, and that all children have access to the support they need.

The event on 24 July will provide another chance to discuss how we best meet the needs of every child and young person in Southwark – making their mental health and wellbeing everyone’s business.

To succeed, we need your help. Let’s channel the optimism, resilience and togetherness of England’s World Cup heroes and work collectively to shape the future of health and care services in Southwark.